‘Gold’ is the third book by Ms. Noyes that won’t disappoint her growing fan base. I think by now lesfic readers can agree that she has evolved from a promising writer to a damn good one.
Pro alpine skier Aspen Archer is retired from competitive skiing due to a serious injury. She prefers to keep a low profile by teaching in ski resorts and hiding her problems. While working in Australia, she meets Cate Tierney, a Physical therapist with relationship issues and a teenage daughter. Their mutual attraction is undeniable but will their emotional baggage get in the way of happiness?
This book is written in first person as it’s this author’s usual style (she affirms that she cannot write in third person). As the story is told from Aspen’s point of view, the reader gets into her headspace enjoying her sarcasm and wit while suffering with her insecurity and anxiety. Aspen lives with constant physical pain in addition to her inability to redeem herself. Her suffering is so raw that we want to shake her out of it though it’s a fight she has to do for herself. On the other hand, we know little about Cate as each layer of her story is peeled excruciatingly slow. We don’t understand many things that she does or says but Ms. Noyes gradually clues us in. Together, their chemistry is spot on, realistic and hot.
All the secondary characters, children and adults, are well defined and have their own distinctive voice. I love the way this author casually drops hints about the characters’ personalities and hides others, unapologetically teasing the reader. She suddenly throws a tidbit of information that ties a loose knot or reveals something that we didn’t know it was missing. These are fantastic ‘penny drops’ moments such as, for example, the reason for Aspen’s agent nickname. Ms. Noyes doesn’t give in to the urge to make us understand or to explain what’s going on. The characters and the story talk for themselves. As a result, the book is a delightful read with a good balance between enjoyment and angst.
Overall, another winner by EJ Noyes. 5 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.